OOGA Pegs Utica Shale “Sweet Spot” at YOUNG 2013

sweet spotAn Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) representative told attendees at the YOUNG 2013 conference held this week in Youngstown that counties in southeastern Ohio are the “sweet spot” of the Utica Shale play because the pressure there is higher and because the shale layer includes an abundance of natural gas liquids. However, another speaker–an executive from CONSOL Energy–said counties in northeastern Ohio will continue to see successful drilling too. So don’t despair!

Executive VP of OOGA, Tom Stewart, used a map to detail the location of a “strip of highly pressurized shale containing natural gas liquids.” While we don’t have a copy of the map, we do have his identification of precisely which counties he says are in that strip–the Utica Shale sweet spot…
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A New Marcellus Pipe Manufacturing Plant Comes to…New York???

Maddening? Yes. Startling? True. Teeth-gritting? You bet. Ironic and mystifying? Supremely so.

A Middle Eastern company has just announced they will invest $102 million to build a factory in South Buffalo, NY that will employ 170 people making steel pipes for the…wait for it…shale drilling industry. And who should plant his mug right in the middle of this announcement to take credit for the investment and jobs it will bring to the state? Gov. Andy Cuomo–the man who can’t decide whether or not he’ll approve fracking in New York. You can see why we’re having such a conflicted and mixed(-up) reaction…
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DRBC Director Carol Collier Announces Her Retirement

Executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission, Carol Collier, apparently has had enough. She announced yesterday she will retire as of March 12, 2014. You may recall Collier was shamed and humiliated on camera by filmmaker Phelim McAleer in his top-notch documentary FrackNation (see the video embedded below). Collier and her support of anti-drilling causes like the fictional Gasland movie is one of the primary reasons landowners in Wayne County, PA still have had no shale drilling–even though other PA counties all around them not in the Delaware River Basin have had drilling for years.

What does Collier’s retirement mean for the future of Marcellus Shale drilling in the DRBC’s jurisdiction? No one yet knows, but landowners are hopeful. One thing you can be sure of: Even though Collier mouths platitudes about finishing up regulations before she retires that will eventually allow drilling, there will be no movement on that issue from now until March. Of that we’re confident. Here’s Collier’s announcement from yesterday:
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OH Company Turns Drill Cuttings into Clean Fill Dirt in 24 Hours

An intriguing supply chain story that caught MDN’s eye: An Ohio company has figured out a way to speed up the work of Mother Nature in decomposing the nasty stuff that contaminates “drill cuttings”–the rock and soil left over from drilling natural gas or oil wells. Drill cuttings are typically hauled off to a landfill where it takes Mother Nature hundreds (sometimes thousands) of years to fully break down the chemicals (naturally and not-naturally occurring) in drill cuttings.

Ohio Soil Recycling greatly speeds up the natural process and turns drill cuttings into soil suitable for use as “clean fill dirt” in as little as 24 hours!…
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Murrysville, PA Officials Offer Advice on Seismic Testing

An town councilman from the Pennsylvania borough of Murrysville (Westmoreland County) wants to make it very clear: ION Geophysical does not have permission to use township rights-of-way for seismic testing. The same official, who is not anti-drilling by a long shot (he’s a geologist), also has a few words of advice/warning for private landowners who are contemplating whether or not to sign agreements to allow testing (for a measly $5/acre)…
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Energy Deniers Ask Maryland Gov to Abandon Safe Fracking Path

A group of extremist anti-drilling organizations, headed by the odious (and misnamed) Food & Water Watch, issued a press release to a single person yesterday–Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley–to ask him to abandon efforts at safe fracking in the state. These cuckoo organizations want no fracking–forever. They want a so-called sustainable energy nirvana now, which means what they really want is shared misery (and rolling blackouts) among everyone because that’s what a complete change to alternative energy sources would entail. There’s no physical way for non-fossil fuel sources of energy to supply all of our energy needs now–and likely not for the next generation or two (if ever). It’s just not possible and they know it, but they deny it. So we’ll call them “energy deniers.”

Here’s the missive issued yesterday by these anti-drilling extremists flying under the banner of Marylanders Against Fracking:
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Dominion Will Spin Off Cove Point LNG Plant + Blue Racer as MLP

Yesterday, the day after Dominion Resources learned of the approval from the Dept. of Energy for their proposed LNG export facility at Cove Point, MD, Dominion’s CEO Thomas Farrell announced that Dominion would spin off the new LNG facility along with their share in the Blue Racer Midstream joint venture in Ohio into a master limited partnership (MLP). An MLP is a special kind of company structure that issues “units” instead of shares of stock. MLPs are set up by the government specifically for the natural resources/mining industry–usually for oil and gas companies.

MLP units are traded on public securities exchanges combining the tax benefits of a limited partnership with the liquidity of publicly traded securities. Dominion’s MLP announcement caused its own shares of stock to reach a record high yesterday…
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Williams BBQ Hopes to Raise $80K for NE PA United Way

A few days ago MDN told you about several drillers in Ohio–Antero Resources, PDC Energy and CONSOL Energy–who are “giving back” to the communities where they drill, by donating money to local schools (see Eastern OH Shale Drillers Donate to Local Schools). Today, a story about pipeline company Williams and their annual barbecue in northeast Pennsylvania–a “little” event that raised more than $40,000 for United Way campaigns in several counties.

At this year’s event (held yesterday), Williams was hoping to double that amount…
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